Favorite Chili

Chili topped with onions and cheese in white bowl and oyster crackers

Andy loves chili.  I love chicken noodle soup.  So, I make them at the same time because they both freeze and reheat well.  Keeps up both happy, he doesn’t have to eat “too chickeny” soup and I can avoid the heartburn from eating chili.andys-favorite-chili-body-800

I have used many different recipes in my life, but this is the one that gets requested the most and the one you are likely to find in my freezer all winter long.  This one is similar to the many Wendy’s copycat recipes readily available online.  I usually at least double this recipe.  Admittedly, I have even tripled it so I had enough for guests and freezing.

I make this in large batches since it provides me with a few quick painless dinners over the winter, and it is a favorite of impromptu visitors to our house.  We have a few neighbors that also love this chili.   This recipe can also be easily reduced, math isn’t my strong suit, so I leave those division problems for you to work out.

andys-favorite-chili-body2-800If you have a little or too much of a can of something, it will be fine, if you have too much of something in a can, just dump it in.

If you don’t like beans, leave them out.  Want to substitute ground beef with another protein, it will be fine.

Chili is one of the most forgiving recipes I make.  If you want it a touch spicier, add more chili seasoning mix, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, or whatever you like.

We serve finely minced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips so people can top their chili the way they like it.




Favorite Chili

Hearty chili with beef and beans. Can be made without beans.

  • Author: Beth Mueller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 30 Cups
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: Soups & Stews


  • 5 pounds Ground Beef
  • 4 stalks Celery, sliced thin
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 2 Green, Red, or Yellow Peppers, finely chopped (I use whichever looked the best at the store)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (optional)
  • 2 28 ounce cans Stewed Tomatoes, broken up into bite-size pieces
  • 1 28 ounce can Original RoTel Tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can Tomato Sauce
  • 4 McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 2 14 ounce cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, do not drain, optional
  • 2 14 ounce cans Pinto Beans, do not drain, optional


  1. Brown hamburger in a large skillet over medium-high heat until some of the meat has turned a dark brown. Transfer to a large pot.
  2. Add celery, onion, green and red peppers, garlic, canned tomato products, and chili seasoning into pot with the browned meat.
  3. Add the chili seasoning packets.
  4. Simmer for an hour or two over low heat. The longer it simmers, the thicker it gets.
  5. Add the beans with the liquid rom the can. Simmer another 30 minutes or until beans are heated through.
  6. Freezes and reheats very well.


  • Serving Size: 1 Cup
  • Calories: 355
  • Sugar: 3.9 g
  • Sodium: 399 mg
  • Fat: 2.8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.9 g
  • Fiber: 9.7 g
  • Protein: 35.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 68 mg

This version of chili was inspired by the many Wendy’s chili copycat recipes running around the internet, tweaked over time to accommodate our preferences.

Other freezable quick dinner ideas:

Chicken Noodle Soup

Vegetable Soup

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder



Hearty chili with beef and beans. Can be made without beans. Tastes like Wendy's chili.
Hearty chili with beef and beans. Can be made without beans.

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